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Brian Edward Millett

Where all things beautiful collide

I’m sure I’ve said it many times before, but I’m constantly amazed at how a little piece of inspiration can set into motion an avalanche of ideas.  Enter the spring 2015 collection by Joseph Altuzarra, and particularly the last few looks that included light as air gowns sewn from fabric that instantly reminded my of the work of Spanish-born Mariano Fortuny.  Although he was born in Spain, he called Venice home, and Altuzarra’s collection too had an Italian energy.  Gingham and leather also joined the Fortuny-like fabrics in Joseph Altuzarra’s collection, with all models wearing black cameo earrings set in gold with pearls.  These earrings brought to mind lava stone cameo jewelry from the Victorian era made from lava from volcanoes like Italy’s own Mount Vesuvius.  Back to that Fortuny fabric.  That made me think of a skirted table in the chic Roman home of my favorite artist Cy Twombly, which is also decorated with busts on marble pedestals, and with faux marble doorways.

The journey through Italy continues with the intricate marble floors at the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica.  Marble has been a huge inspiration lately, and it’s a perfect combination with the silk damask fabrics of Fortuny and at Altuzarra.  My favorite interior designer Jeffrey Bilhuber has been known to use Fortuny fabrics for upholstery, and other damasks.  One such space is a Connecticut home inspired by decorator Billy Baldwin’s legendary La Fiorentina on the French Riviera, where Bilhuber actually purchased items originally from the estate Baldwin designed, including dining chairs.  I’ve rounded out this story with a few more spaces by Jeffrey that have a European feel, including luxe textiles, marble floors, and more.  I hope you enjoy this trip through my brain and Italy with me!

Cy Twombly's Roman home

Cy Twombly’s Roman home

Altuzarra spring 2015

Altuzarra spring 2015

Cy Twombly

Cy Twombly

table by Oeuffice

table by Oeuffice

This table looks to me like a modern interpretation of the marble pedestals that busts sit on in Cy Twombly’s home in Rome.

Altuzarra spring 2015

Altuzarra spring 2015

Cy Twombly at home by Horst P. Horst

Cy Twombly at home by Horst P. Horst

marbre

marbre

I just found this board of marble patterns on Pinterest and it’s inspiring me endlessly.  See more of my pins on Pinterest!

marble and statuary

marble and statuary

Altuzarra spring 2015

Altuzarra spring 2015

marble floors in Rome

marble floors in Rome

St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica

Altuzarra spring 2015

Altuzarra spring 2015

Billy Baldwin

Billy Baldwin’s La Fiorentina

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Both Baldwin and Bilhuber used the dining chairs on the same raffia carpet for a mix of humble and luxe.

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Jeffrey Bilhuber

A Fortuny uphostered chair and nearby pillow reflect light from the fire and windows beautifully.

Altuzarra spring 2015

Altuzarra spring 2015

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Jeffrey Bilhuber

A chair in the same Fortuny fabric joins another seating group in the La Fiorentina-inspired space.

Altuzarra spring 2015

Altuzarra spring 2015

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Altuzarra spring 2015

Altuzarra spring 2015

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Those marble floors and chair would be right at home in Italy.  Actually the whole room!

lava stone cameo jewelry

lava stone cameo jewelry via Martha Stewart Living

Lava stone cameo jewelry was just some of the color palette inspiration for Martha Stewart’s Bedford, New York home.  Altuzarra created zodiac versions for each model for his spring 2015 show.

Altuzarra spring 2015

Altuzarra spring 2015

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Jeffrey Bilhuber

A wood “cameo” hangs on a nailhead studded wall.  The patterned floors, Empire-style chairs, and columns add to the European vibe.

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Damask curtains and a Fortuny-like silk covers a sofa in a truly sophisticated room by Mr. Bilhuber.

marble floors

marble floors

Fashion images from style.com

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